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Stephy Tang in a still from The Empty Hands.

Top five films to watch in Hong Kong this week (November 2-8), from Battle of the Sexes to The Empty Hands

Hong Kong actress Stephy Tang’s finest performance yet, a film that puts the fun back into superhero stories, one of best music documentaries in years, and Emma Stone acing Billie Jean King are among our picks of the week

Film reviews

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1. Battle of the Sexes

From the husband-and-wife directing team behind Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks comes a surprisingly intelligent comedy-drama on gender equality that will inspire any number of think pieces on its present-day parallels. Emma Stone aced her role as tennis legend Billie Jean King. (Opens on November 2)

2. The Empty Hands

Sports movies don’t come more artistic than this succinct yet regularly engrossing karate drama by real-life practitioner Chapman To Man-chat. The producer, director and co-screenwriter has his lead actress Stephy Tang Lai-yan to thank for a performance that may well be her best yet. (Opens on November 2)

3. Thor: Ragnarok

While it may be seen as a detour into comedy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the third stand-alone outing of its hammer-wielding god – infused with director Taika Waititi’s deadpan humour – is also a sound reminder of the fun we’ve lost with all the self-important superhero films we’re getting these days. (Now showing)

4. Daughter of the Nile

Largely unseen and overlooked until a recent restoration, art-house auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien’s 1987 urban drama takes a page from the life of its writer Chu T’ien-wen to fashion a moody tale around the disappointments of marginalised youth in mid-80s Taiwan. (November 5, part of the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival)

5. Gimme Danger

One of the best music documentaries in recent years – if not also one of those made with the nicest of intentions – Jim Jarmusch’s feature-length tribute to Iggy Pop and the Stooges, starring the rock legend himself, charts the rise and fall of the American punk band with eloquence and a heavy dose of nostalgia. (Now showing)

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